By William C. Sexton
James wrote, “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:14-15). Envy is defined as . . . the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others; . . .” (Vine, Vol. II, p. 37). It appears to me that I detect a bit of envy in some “conservative” brethren. It seems to come through loud and clear at times, when efforts to reach the lost are made and slurs are directed, no support comes, and counter acts are made.
If there is envy in my heart, then I need to know from whence it comes. It is not of God, and it does not advance the cause of Christ, nor does it strengthen the “Christian” who is holding it in his heart! As Christians, beloved, we need to rejoice when the gospel is preached and souls are saved. And we need to do all we can to advance the cause of Christ and not “our cause.” There is such a great need all over the United States today, including the state of Kansas, to present the gospel of Christ in its purity and simplicity, let us therefore lay aside the “weight” that slows us down and dissipates our energy. Likewise, let us lay aside the “sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, . . .” (Cf. Heb. 12:2-3).
The success of other Christians ought to cause us to rejoice and not provoke a sense of displeasure; it ought to provoke us to a greater effort and not cause us to launch a counter move. Standing on the promises requires us to be alert and moving forward; setting on the promises and finding fault is the easier course but it is the destructive one. Let us examine our hearts to see if we be in the “faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). If we feel a sense of displeasure as others make progress in the way of the Lord, then we can be sure that we are “out” of the faith and not “in” it.
Truth Magazine XIX: 42, p. 668
September 4, 1975